The Suffering Will Not Be Televised: African American Women and Sentimental Political Storytelling
Why do some stories of lost white girls garner national media headlines, while others missing remain unknown to the general public? What makes a suffering person legible as a legitimate victim in U.S. culture? In The Suffering Will Not Be Televised, Rebecca Wanzo uses African American women as a case study to explore the conventions of sentimental political storytelling—the cultural practices that make the suffering of some legible while obscuring other kinds of suffering. Through an examination of memoirs, news media, film, and television, Wanzo’s analysis reveals historical and contemporary tendencies to conflate differences between different kinds of suffering, to construct suffering hierarchies, and to treat wounds inflicted by the state as best healed through therapeutic, interpersonal interaction. Wanzo’s focus on situations as varied as disparities in child abduction coverage, pain experienced in medical settings, sexual violence, and treatment of prisoners of war illuminates how widely and deeply these conventions function within U.S. culture.
“Tracing the invisibility of the suffering of African American women across media, The Suffering Will Not Be Televised offers an important analysis of the many ways in which African American women’s experiences have been excluded from narratives about social violence and victimization. Wanzo’s book serves as a reminder about the necessity of considering gender and race relationally for women’s studies, cultural studies, and studies of crime, media, and culture.” — Carol A. Stabile, author of White Victims, Black Villains: Gender, Race, and Crime News in U.S. Culture
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Beyond Uncle Tom A Genealogy of Sentimental Political Storytelling
Incidents in the Life of a Volunteer Slave Girl The Specter of Slavery and Escapes from History
The Reading Cure Oprah Winfrey Toni Morrison and Sentimental Identification
Salvation in His Arms? Rape Race and Intimacys Salve
In the Shadow of Anarcha Race Pain and Medical Storytelling
Other editions - View all
activists affect African American women Anarcha Anna Deavere Smith argues Atlanta child murders audience Bambara black bodies black suffering black women Bluest Eye child abduction citizenship Civil Rights claims color complex conflation contemporary conventions crimes critical critique demonstrates difference disappearance discourse discussion emotional enslaved ethical experience feeling fiction film focused girl harm Hurricane Katrina Ibid identity illustrates individual intimacy issues Katrina kind Kuzak L.A. Law LaToyia Figueroa Lauren Berlant logic Megan's Law missing mother Natalee Holloway Nelson novel oppression Oprah Winfrey Parker patients Pecola privileged produced race and pain racial racism rape reading recognize relationship representations response rhetoric Rilya sentimental political storytelling sexual violence Shoshana Johnson slave narrative slavery social stories struggle suggests sympathy talk show television tell therapeutic tion Toni Morrison trauma U.S. citizens U.S. culture Uncle Tom's Cabin University Press victims Winfrey's woman York